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Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream
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Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  35,236 Ratings  ·  1,653 Reviews
With frankness and compassion, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist H.G. Bissinger's national bestseller chronicles the dramatic 1988 season of the Permian Panthers--the winningest high school football team in Texas history. Friday Night Lights shows how the town's singleminded devotion to the team shapes the community and inspires (or shatters) the teenagers who wear the uni ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Harpercollins (first published 1988)
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Ian I really liked this book. Its very intersesting and when i read it in 6th grade it wasnt too diffucult. He shouldnt have much problems!!!(:
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 26, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, 2012, reviewed
This book is heartbreaking.

I grew up in a very liberal part of the country. My family is comprised mostly of hard-working European immigrants who value education above all else. In many ways, I should be the last person able to appreciate or understand life in small-town Texas with its conservative values and its unhealthy obsession with high school sports. Yet, I actually did attend a private junior/senior high school with a hockey program that is probably the best in the country. We won the st
Nov 06, 2007 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was on an airplane one Friday night when I was reading this book. As the plane took off from Cleveland I noticed a high school football game in progress. I could see the lights.. the two teams on the field.. the crowd and the marching band. I watched the field as long as I could. Just at the point when I couldn't see the stadium anymore my eye caught the lights of another football field. Then.. when I looked out over the countryside I noticed that there were football games in most of the small ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 29, 2016 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Philip
Shelves: read2016, sportsing
"Life really wouldn't be worth livin' if you didn't have a high school team to support."
In the Reading class I am teaching in May 2016, I challenged my students to read a book from a genre they had not read. I played along, and ended up reading an Amish romance and this sports book. One reading friend talked about this book on an episode of the Reading Envy podcast and made it sound pretty compelling, sports or no sports.

"You'd watch these kids play, and it seem like somethin' burning would be i
I didn't grow up in a football-watching family. My father, who apparently loved the game, passed away when I was young. My mother was much more interested in baseball, and had coworkers with season tickets, so I grew up going to the Kingdome to watch Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Joey Cora, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson... I even spent my high school prom night at Safeco Field, watching Freddy Garcia pitch a great game against the Yankees (who he'd eventually join, years later, sigh) ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
If you think this book is about high school football in Texas, you're pretty much wrong. There is a fair amount about football, but this book is really a sort of sociological study of a small Texas town where Football is played. There is a lot about the difficulties of the local economy after the oil slump, and in general the book gives what I thought was a fairly negative view of the people and their preoccupations.

I almost never like movies better than books, but in this case I thought the mo
Mar 27, 2013 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not a surprise that I loved this book. It is about high school football.

I watched a lot of football growing up (Friday nights: high school football; Saturday: University of Colorado football; Sunday: NFL football - I was a huge 49ers fan). I probably could have done something great with all the hours I spent watching football. Ah well.

My high school football team won the state championship, and I remember it as a glory day - it was snowing, the team was playing in then-Folsom Field (the U
Jul 29, 2009 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friends Matt & Cassie introduced us to the television show "Friday Night Lights" this past winter. I had only heard of it on blogs before then and never really paid any attention to it.

Wow, was I late to the party. The television show is excellent and I highly recommend it, even if you don't like football.

Being the bookworm that I am, I had to find the inspiration for the television show. I actually bought a copy of the book for my friend Matt for Christmas and the four of us eventually d
Aug 15, 2013 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Mr. Bissinger,

I think watching the Intelligent Squared debate you were in is great. I loved the television series based on this book. I learned something about myself while reading this. Even good writing such as yours, does not make me care a whit about football.

Lukas Kott
Sep 11, 2015 Lukas Kott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think Friday night lights was actually a really cool book and I enjoyed reading it and didn't have to force myself to read it. Was a great sport about football and life in high school. Living in Texas how it's different living their in a small town that's so passionate about the sport they play and it means so much to everyone in the town. I wanted to feel like I was in the town and one of the football players.
"Clear eyes. full heart. Can't lose" - Coach Taylor I like this quote because it's t
Jun 06, 2016 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
If you love football, Friday Night Lights likely will be the best sports book you've ever read. If you don't love football, and aren't an avid nonfiction reader? FNL likely will be the best nonfiction book you've ever read.

FNL is about the stories communities tell themselves. It's about how we live our values, collectively, how we relate to one another, how we motivate ourselves, our priorities, how we rationalize public policy, spending, the ways we view and talk about race, high school. It's a
Oct 28, 2008 CJ H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CJ Herron

Mrs. Ebarvia

World Lit


H.G. Bissinger was born in New York City in November of 1954. He spent time writing for the Philadelphia inquirer. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger is about a small town in Texas called Odessa. Permian High school football is a way of life and almost every kid dreams of wearing the black and white under Friday night lights some day. Permian’s goal in the 1988 season was to reach the state championship. The competition is high and the road is tough, but
Neil Powell
Sep 13, 2013 Neil Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about so much more than American Football. On the surface, it tells the story of the Permian Panthers, the high school football team from Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. It focuses on 6 of the senior players and some of the coaching staff. It gives us accounts of their backgrounds, families and their feelings about school, life and playing football.

The season in question (1988) was supposed to be the year where the team were too good, they were meant to win the state champion
Affecting, amusing, alarming, appalling account of the winningest high-school football team in Texas. (Apparently this review was brought to you by the letter A.) Along the way, Bissinger discusses popularity, racism, sexism, fresh-baked cookies, memories, oil, home economics, class conflicts, statutory rape, algebra, the savings-and-loan crisis, lowered expectations, skewed priorities, algebra, and armed robbery.

Some of my favorite passages:

Coach Belew: "I want one hell of a wreck out there. I
First Second Books
Recommended by Gene Luen Yang! What more do I really need to say?

Also: really interesting about sports and racial politics.
Nicholas Skylar
This book is an amazing sports book that is sad and lets you get to know the characters well. The book follows the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas, as they made a run towards the Texas state championship. In the 5A playoff semifinals, Permian meets Dallas Carter, a predominantly black team. In a hard fought game in the rain at Memorial Stadium in Austin, the Panthers are defeated 14–9. Carter, led by future Miami Hurricanes and New York Giants line ...more
Makayla Osterberg
Jan 14, 2015 Makayla Osterberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
Growing up a football watcher and managing our local high school football team, it is no surprise that I enjoyed H.G. Bissinger’s book Friday Night Lights.
Bissinger does a great job of painting a picture while you’re reading and letting you get to know the characters. You can imagine yourself with the six senior starters and part of the coaching staff in the run-down town, at the games, and attending practice while dying of the Texas heat and drinking the unsanitary water. Making you want to re
Joe Barron
Aug 01, 2016 Ripken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason X
Jun 15, 2016 Jason X rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Phenomenal. As a fan of the TV show and the movie, I had no idea what a bomb this book was. Neither the show nor movie are like the book at all other than there is a football team in West Texas. In a sense, this book has nothing to do with football. Football is just a backdrop, a doppelganger of American society.

I played High School football during the time period this book follows. Talk about repressed memories coming back. Not to mention the social issues and the mindset of Southern USA that a
Jun 27, 2016 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Focusing on the 1988 Permian High School football team, this book is really about much more than high school football. It's about the West Texas town of Odessa surviving the oil booms and busts by fixating on their team. It's about high school football having such a stranglehold on a culture that thousands of people wait overnight, or days, in line for tickets to the games and travel hundreds of miles for away games. It's about race relations and class relations. It's about how young teenage boy ...more
Quinn Mcclune
Jan 09, 2014 Quinn Mcclune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The setting of this book takes place is a small town in Texas called Odessa. In Odessa there is a lot of crime and hate, but for a few months of the year they are all about their Permian Panthers. James "Boobie" Miles is their star player and the teams ticket to a state title until something crazy happens. In this book you will read about a teams up and down journey to see what they have in them.
I chose to read this book because I love football. I am a 11th grader in high school and this next f
Carol Storm
Jul 06, 2015 Carol Storm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic reporting, but needs more football and less patronizing social commentary on those poor ignorant Texans and how they "cling" to oil and football!
Eric Baker
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger is a non-fiction book. This book follows the best high school football team in Texas, from Permian High School in Odessa,Texas. This story goes through the ups and downs of the football season and how the players are feeling as they try to get to the State Championship. Throughout the story it takes you into what it is like in Texas during the 1988 football season. Permian High loves football and they expect every season to win the state championship. This s ...more
Dec 06, 2015 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Exciting and heartbreaking, in so many ways. I didn't attend high school in the 80s (I was a mere 2 years old when the Permian Panthers' 1988 season took place), or grow up in Texas, or live in a town that was so big that it could support multiple high schools and sports teams. And yet much of this account of Texas high school football and the community in general feels relevant and relatable and real.

I often felt torn while reading this. There was the edge-of-your-seat anticipation of how each
Katelyn Loehrke
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abbie Chem
Aug 09, 2015 Abbie Chem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beyond being thoroughly well-written and enjoyable, this book is a stunning work that manages to cover the racial, socioeconomic, educational, and football history of Odessa, Texas. As with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this book exposes the ways in which the black population has been constantly exploited and dehumanized for the benefit of White America. At the same time, it is a fascinating exploration of how football insanity and the booms and busts of a volatile oil economy shapes a c ...more
Jul 07, 2015 Jerrodm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic book. I felt sick to my stomach reading it.

I played football in high school in a place where there was much more than high school football for most people to do on a Friday night. I can relate to some aspects of the story: football games were the only sporting events in my school where admission was charged, they drew probably five times the attendees of any other sport, and we wore our jerseys proudly to school on pep rally days and were probably afforded more attention as a
Isaiah Harrell
Nov 20, 2014 Isaiah Harrell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Friday Night Lights was a book I didn't like at all. This was one of the worst football related books because first, the character development takes a long time. I think the book did too much explanation on who the characters were. The explanation on the characters were so long, that I started to get bored with the book. I never had that happen to me. The show was way better than the book in my opinion which was weird because usually the books be better than the show.
One thing I liked about the
Max K.
Nov 02, 2014 Max K. is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
“Friday Night Lights” is a true story of a high school football team in Odessa, Texas with the hopes and dreams of another championship title. In the book star player James “Boobie” Miles is the Panthers ticket there and they feel as if without him they are never going to make it. Well that hope becomes a reality in a scrimmage one week before opening day Boobie injures his knee, leaving all the pressure on quarterback Mike Winchell and Boobies back up Chris Comer. Sure enough the first game wit ...more
Kevin Morales
Feb 05, 2014 Kevin Morales rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Introduction, the Perimian Panthers Football team have special players that play with heart and athleticism. Boobie Miles is an All-American/ All-State Runningback that is a freak of nature. Coach Gary and Quarterback Mike have a great relationship and are the leaders of this team. Don Billingsley has yet to prove anything and keeps fumbling the ball consistently. These characters are a true definition of a team they give all they have and never give up on each other.
Next, In Odessa, Texas a H
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H.G. Bissinger has won the Pulitzer Prize, the Livingston Award, the National Headliner Award, and the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel for his reporting. The author has written for the television series NYPD Blue and is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He lives in Philadelphia.
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“I'm gonna party, see how intoxicated I can get and how many rules I can flaunt. That's my motto.” 61 likes
“Athletics lasts for such a short period of time. It ends for people. But while it lasts, it creates this make-believe world where normal rules don’t apply. We build this false atmosphere. When it’s over and the harsh reality sets in, that’s the real joke we play on people. . . . Everybody wants to experience that superlative moment, and being an athlete can give you that. It’s Camelot for them. But there’s even life after it.” 4 likes
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